Loadshedding and xenophobia were top of mind for South Africans in 2015.

This is according to Google’s annual Zeitgeist, a look at 2015 through the collective eyes of the world on the web, offering a perspective on the year’s major events and hottest trends based on searches conducted in South Africa and globally.

“Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times”. At the end of each year, Google celebrates this spirit by revisiting the year’s top searches around the world.

This year’s overall trending searches from South Africa show a mix of the serious and the silly, with loadshedding, xenophobia, sport, and various celebrities topping the overall search trends list.

Murdered musician Flabba, actor Simba Mhere (who passed away in a car accident) and musician and producer Cassper Nyovest (who was trying to fill the MTN Dome) made the top of the Trending South African list.

Loadshedding and xenophobia topped the Trending Current Affairs search list, showing just how much of an impact both made this year, followed by “demonic game” Charlie Charlie, the French weekly publication targeted by a terror attack Charlie Hebdo, and hacked US dating site Ashley Madison, demonstrating that South Africans have a somewhat global turn of mind.

The late Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane featured in the Trending South African, Trending Current Affairs and Trending Political Figures lists, an indication of the nation’s depth of feeling at the loss of Minister Chabane in a car accident in March. Also hitting the political figures trends list were disgraced former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi and DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

South Africa Trending – overall searches:

1.      Loadshedding

2.      August Alsina

3.      Xenophobia

4.      Cricket World Cup

5.      Lamar Odom

6.      Caitlyn Jenner

7.      Adele Hello

8.      Flabba

9.      BMW i8

10.  Jeremy Clarkson

Trending South African:

1.      Flabba

2.      Simba Mhere

3.      Cassper Nyovest

4.      Pastor Zondo

5.      Collins Chabane

6.      Pulane Lenkoe

7.      Senzo Meyiwa

8.      Itumeleng Khune

9.      Saba Mbixane

10.  Jackie Selebi

How to:

1.      How to cast

2.      How to apologise

3.      How to e-wallet

4.      How to kick

5.      How to smoke

6.      How to treat

7.      How to paint

8.      How to prank

9.      How to quickscope

10.  How to bat

What is:

1.      What is xenophobia

2.      What is ebola

3.      What is occupation

4.      What is isis

5.      What is constipation

6.      What is shrub

7.      What is rpl

8.      What is meth

9.      What is polyamory

10.  What is submissive

Trending Current Affairs:

1.      Loadshedding

2.      Xenophobia

3.      Charlie Charlie

4.      Charlie Hebdo

5.      Ashley Madison

6.      Collins Chabane

7.      Boko Haram

8.      Isis

9.      Nepal Earthquake

10.  SONA


1.      Windows 10

2.      Whatsapp  Web

3.      Samsung Galaxy S6

4.      iPhone 6S

5.      Fifa 16

6.      Google Logo

7.      iPhone 7

8.      Fallout 4

9.      Apple Watch

10.  Mortal Kombat X

Trending Political Figures:

1.      Collins Chabane

2.      Jackie Selebi

3.      Mmusi Maimane

4.      Baleka Mbete

5.      King Zwelithini

6.      Mtholephi Mthimkhulu

7.      The Gupta Family

8.      Charles Nqakula

9.      Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

10.   Blade Nzimande